Old Radicals

The revolutionary fervor fomenting at American universities during the ’60s was effectively defanged over the years, and now mostly recalls longhaired hippies passing joints while loafing on campus lawns. To suggest this misconception came by design is to flirt with the conspiratorial, but as recently released FBI files reveal, radicals then and now have good reason to be paranoid. J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI waged a far-reaching covert campaign against student activists, as journalist Seth Rosenfeld details in his meticulously researched new book, Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power. The book is the product of three decades of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits that Rosenfeld doggedly filed against the bureau, ultimately resulting in the release of over 250,000 pages of classified documents. Rosenfeld details how the FBI spied, lied, and stole in its espionage campaign against radicals in Berkeley during the ’60s, and how those efforts gave momentum to the fledgling political ambitions of Ronald Reagan.
Mon., Feb. 11, 6 p.m., 2013

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